Will.i.am to Receive Walk of Fame Star
Contemporary musicians are rarely given stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, especially at the height of their career. But Black Eyed Peas' frontman will.i.am, born William James Adams, Jr., is one of the lucky few. Joining fellow artists like Mariah Carey, Diddy, Jamie Foxx, Destiny's Child and Britney Spears, the 35-year-old emcee is one of 30 celebrities chosen to receive a plaque on the Walk of Fame in 2011, making him one of the nine selected for the Recording category.
Fellow musicians Melissa Etheridge, Rascal Flatts, Slash and Bebe & Cece Winans join will.i.am in the aforementioned category, while celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, 'American Idol' creator Simon Fuller, Neil Patrick Harris, Tina Fey, Reese Witherspoon, The Muppets and more are among the chosen.
"It was not an easy job to winnow down the extra large number of nominations this year to reach these 30 names," said John Pavlik, chairman of the Hollywood Walk of Fame Committee. "But the placement of stars for these famous celebrities will give fans and tourists some fun and exciting close encounters next year, such as a rare family dedication."
As leader of hip-pop quartet Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am has won an impressive seven Grammy Awards for his work and honored with a Latin Grammy Award in 2006 for his production on Sergio Mendes' 'Timeless'. He has also lent his production and songwriting skills to a slew of artists such as U2, Rihanna and Usher, whose most recent single 'OMG' featuring the BEP frontman reached the top of the Billboard 100.
Outside of music, he is also a noted political activist, having released several songs supporting President Barack Obama during his campaign and contributing to the 'We Are the World 25' remake to raise money for Haiti relief earlier this year. Additionally, will.i.am has appeared on the big screen in the films 'Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa' and 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine'.
Black Eyed Peas released its fifth album 'The E.N.D.' in June 2009, selling more than 2.5 million copies to date. The effort has spawned three number one singles, including 'I Gotta Feeling', 'Imma Be' and 'Boom Boom Pow.'